The EIA Directive requires an assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment before development consent is granted. Since the Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 (the 2012 Regulations) already apply the EIA Directive to the current unitary planning authority system, they require technical amendment only to accommodate the new two-tier planning mode. The 2015 Regulations will replace the 2012 Regulations.
The Regulations will affect Northern Ireland only. Key changes are:
- new provision for applications referred to the Department under section 29 of the 2011 Act
- new provision for modification of the Regulations in respect of councils’ own applications